I was born in Holland and raised in a Protestant family. I strongly believed as a child, but through the influences of friends, music and TV during my years of adolescence I somehow lost my faith.

When I was sixteen, I went to confirmation classes, but the Pastor there could not answer my questions. This, together with the amount of suffering I saw in the world and the lack of God’s miracles made me reject Christianity.

I had a few jobs in Holland, but eventually ended up being unemployed for half a year and hence lived with unemployed friends. This state really affected me as I was raised as a hard working youngster and hereto became very depressed. I had no idea what to do with my life. At twenty-three, I decided to sell everything I owned and go on a world trip. I threw a big good-bye party, where the condition for entry was to buy one of my belongings. This gave me some money for the trip, about five hundred dollars.

I flew to the USA and for a while worked on a farm. I then delivered a mobile home in Las Vegas and hitchhiked all the way down to California, and into Mexico. Although the surrounding beaches and jungles were extremely beautiful, I kept asking myself what my part in all of this was. I just could not believe that one had to work all the days of ones life, and then die, and that was it. That did not make sense to me. It was amazing how some of these poor Mexicans survived, and if you asked them how, they pointed to the sky and replied: “Dio” (God).

Before I left, my mum had given me a small Bible, which I sometimes read. When times were bad I really cried out to God and when times were good I forgot all about Him. I was robbed and mugged a few times. At times, I went without money for weeks and survived on tortillas. Eventually after many adventures, I returned to the States, and then flew over to New Zealand.

Many people preached to me along the way and I often hoped that someone would explain the meaning of life to me. After working as a Mexican Cook in New Zealand, my newly acquired dog, Bronx and I decided to go to Australia.

I just could not believe that one had to work… and then die, and that was it

There, luck really turned against me. I always seemed to end up in the wrong place at the wrong time and could not find employment. In my old Rover 90, I headed north to Cairns, but still could not find a job. I ran out of food and could no longer cater for Bronx. To my dismay, the roads also stopped north of Cairns. There was no way out.

…a true sign from God!!!…I knew that this was what I’d been searching for

There, in a park, after explaining to my dog that I could no longer feed him and would have to give him to a pound, I kneeled down and cried to the Lord: “Lord, I have been walking this world for four and a half years, please explain to me what life is all about and if you are there, then show me.” Within minutes a gardener stopped by and we had a chat. He started to talk to me about things that I’d never heard of before. He told me that Jesus is alive and still performs the same miracles as He did 2000 years ago. Anyone who seeks Him can receive His Holy Spirit and speak in tongues, a true sign from God!!!! Wow, I almost broke down crying, as I knew that this was what I’d been searching for. I was introduced to one of the assembly house groups

and their very real experiences with God and miraculous healings astonished me. This was exactly what the Bible was all about! Two weeks later I was baptised through full immersion and received the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

I later found myself going to Papua New Guinea to see the work of the Lord through the natives there. They had amazing testimonies and boosted my faith.

Finally I decided to go home and spread the Gospel to relatives and friends. Now, fifteen years later, I live in Toronto where my wife and I are missionaries and have been blessed with two beautiful sons. Perhaps, I had to travel far and wide, but I found The Lord and now understand what life is all about. Praise the Lord.

Jack